Thanks to Simon & Shuster Children’s Publishing for letting me taking part in this blog tour!
Title: The Black Kids.
Author: Christina Hammonds Reed.
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers.
Page count: 370.
Release day: August 4th 2020.
Genre: YA, Contemporary.
Rating: 3 stars.
What is it about? (Summary from GoodReads)
Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumour that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
This book is so relevant at this moment!
I have to admit that I did not connect that well with the characters and the overall plot. But I definitely learned something from this book, and more importantly this book made me think! And I think it is very good when books do this!
In this book we follow Ashley, who has been friends with these 3 white girls most of her life. And this is the part of the plot that really made me think. Personally I don’t think I’m racist, or say racist things. But reading this book from a black POV made me realize that some comments, that to me might not sound racist, really are! It made me think about think about things I might have said that might actually have been really rude to say. I think this was a really good thing about this book, because now I might think twice before saying certain things!
Ashely has been friends with these people for most of her life, and they make so many rude comments to her. ‘It is all your fault, cause you’re black’, uhmm what..?! You don’t say that!
Besides it shows how Black people are treated in general (at least in the US), as in they are being pulled over for driving in a ‘too nice’ car. The mom of her new friend accuses her of being a thief, just because she has never seen her before and she is black.. The fact that these things happen.. is just mind-blowing..
Part of the plot is about riots that are happening after the police almost killing a black man, which again makes this book very relevant to the current protests in the US. I think it was very interesting to see what our main character was thinking about these riots. And also her discussions about these riots with both her white and black friends! It was very interesting to see how these discussion were quite different from each other. Some of her white friends were scared without real reason, since they live in rich neighbourhoods, and basically have nothing to do with the riots. While her black friends lived in the neighbourhoods of the riots, or had family there, and were scared because what if they went home and their house was burned down?!
I think these discussion, and the whole book in general, really gave me some more insights in how black people are being treated, and that it is far from being over!
I definitely recommend reading this book! It really made me think, and I definitely learned things from this book!